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Will promoting bicycle commuting increase auto-bicycle accidents?

In many areas throughout the country, public and private entities are encouraging the population to be more conscious about the environment and our use of natural resources. In California specifically, many of our readers have probably seen many of the attempts to encourage "green" energy, such as solar and wind energy plans, as well as advancements in transportation technology. One simple concept is being pushed pretty hard: riding a bicycle instead of commuting via automobile.

The Air Resources Board of the California Environmental Protection Agency has its own Bicycle Awareness Program that keeps some very specific statistics regarding the use of bicycles instead of automobiles. The agency notes that if bicycle trips replaced short trips via automobile there could be a significant decline in the emission of pollution. But, is there a potentially problematic side of the push to get more California residents riding bikes? What if promoting bicycle commuting increases the number of bicycle accidents?

It may just be a simple numbers game: more bicyclists sharing the roads with automobiles could mean more serious injuries or fatalities in accidents involving motor vehicles. Could the potential costs of an increase in bicycle accidents outweigh the savings that California could see from an increase in bicycle commuting?

These are public policy questions that are sure to be debated in the public realm as the idea of "green" living continues to take root in California. But, for those who are injured in a bicycle accident, "going green" won't pay the medical expenses. In those cases, a personal injury lawsuit may be needed.

Source:, "ARB Bicycle Awareness Program," Accessed Aug. 14, 2016

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